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Lesson 22: Composing Your Second Mashup Etude

As an experienced beginner, you’re now familiar with the process of creating your unique mashup etude. This exercise continues to be an exciting blend of composition and improvisation, where you combine different elements from the lessons you’ve completed into one cohesive piece.

Creating Your Second Etude:

  1. Revisit and Select: Reflect on the new set of lessons we’ve covered in the past few months. Which ones resonated with you the most? Select your favorite parts from these exercises, and think about how you can creatively mix them to form your new etude.
  2. Harmonious Combinations: Remember, all the core lessons are in the key of A minor, so any combination you come up with will harmonically align. Feel free to experiment with different sequences and structures.
  3. Monthly Creative Practice: Continue to embrace this as a monthly exercise. Each month, challenge yourself to create a new etude from the exercises you’ve learned. This practice not only solidifies your learning but also enhances your creative skills.

My Mashup Example: In this lesson, I explored combining elements from Etude No. 4 and “Colors.” These two lessons particularly inspired me, and I’m eager to see which lessons spark your creativity.

Your Turn: Which lessons will inspire you to create your song? It’s your time to play, experiment, and discover.

Learn My Version: Watch the video to see how I approached this task. Try to learn my version of the mashup etude note by note.

  • Level 1 (Basic): Play the etude three times.
  • Level 2 (Solid): Play the etude correctly three times. These don’t need to be consecutive.
  • Level 3 (Pro): Challenge yourself to play the etude flawlessly three times in a row.

Creating your second mashup etude is a fantastic way to apply what you’ve learned and to express yourself musically. Dive into this creative process with enthusiasm and see where your musical journey takes you next!

Additional Tips for Approaching the Mashup Etude Exercise:

Exploration and Selection: Play through all the sight reading exercises and etudes you've learned. Pay close attention to how each one makes you feel. You'll likely find that some exercises don't resonate with you, while others might have certain appealing aspects or could be enjoyable from start to finish.

Levels of Creativity:

Level 1 - Simple Selection: Choose What You Love: The easiest way to approach this challenge is to focus on the parts you truly like and discard the rest. You might find that only a few out of the many exercises you've practiced truly appeal to you. Arrange these favorites in a sequence you like, such as A B C, ABAC, or AABACBA. This is your composition, so follow your instincts.

Level 2 - Extracting and Enhancing: Focus on Resonating Elements: Often, only a small part of an etude might resonate with you. That's okay and can be even more exciting. Extracting a single bar or a few notes from the melody and using them in your composition can result in an even more intriguing and personalized creation.

Level 3 - Further Investigation and Modification: Modify as Needed: If you find an etude that’s almost perfect except for a certain aspect, feel free to change it. For instance, if the bass line doesn’t suit your taste, alter it to find the sound you’re looking for. If a melody takes a turn you don’t like, steer it in a direction that sounds beautiful to you. You have full permission to creatively alter and reassemble my pieces.

This Exercise Is Fundamental, Not Just Preliminary: Remember, this isn't just a stepping stone to 'real' music once you become more advanced. This process of listening, being moved by certain musical moments, and then integrating these into your own style is a core part of being a musician. We all do it – we hear something that speaks to us, and we weave it into our creations, transforming it into something uniquely ours.